Education

The Workshop and Levee Studios

The Workshop & Levee Studios

Former Diesel Workshop

Xsquared Architects in association with BVN have revitalised the former 1951 Diesel Workshop for the University of Tasmania. New flexible, dynamic and technologically sophisticated teaching spaces have been created in a way that is respectful of the heritage-listed fabric and vast open spaces of the original building.

The building sits at the northern end of the Inveresk campus and has an important frontage to University Square. New windows and operable walls open the building to the public realm and allow student ‘Learning through Making’ activities to be on constant display. Open, flexible teaching spaces are intermixed with enclosed technical and academic workplaces. Open spaces support collaboration between students and academics from different disciplines, with spatial divisions subtly defined by changes in materiality, such as the 40m curtain that divides the ground floor studio.

Prior to intervention the building was painfully cold, hot, or noisy depending on environmental conditions. In response, the design includes an energy efficient mechanical system that works in tandem with increased spatial openness to achieve thermal comfort. There are also significant improvements to structural, seismic and fire safety performance.

A detailed sustainability analysis indicates that revitalisation represents a 63% reduction in carbon emissions compared with newbuild and strongly supports the sustainability case for the refurbishment of existing buildings.

Photos By Natasha Mulhall